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Charity event aims to make a difference

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

By Fran McElhone

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PEOPLE are being urged to sleep rough for a night to highlight the plight of our city's homeless.

Each year, Exeter YMCA's Sleep Easy event calls on members of the community to spend one night sleeping rough so others don't have to.

This year the event is taking place on Saturday, March 16, at the Guildhall Shopping Centre.

Traditionally, through sponsorship raised by participants, the event raises thousands of pounds for the charity which provides support for the city's homeless.

The charity is hoping the sleep out will attract more than 500 people, making it their biggest-ever event of its kind.

Current supporters of the event include thebestof Exeter, who work with local businesses, and Exeter solicitors firm, Gilbert Stephens.

Dave Barr from thebestof Exeter said: "I will be sleeping out because I want to make a difference in the lives of young people who have had the worst possible start in life.

"I'm hoping that many small local businesses will join me."

The event will not only raise awareness of youth homelessness in Devon but will also help raise vital sponsorship to continue its work providing 15,000 nights of accommodation and support a year to homeless young people across the county.

The event will start at 8pm and finish at 7am the next day. Teas and coffees will be available through the night to keep people warm.

Event organiser Tom Wyatt, said: "Sleep Easy participants can expect not only a night sleeping under the stars, but guaranteed fun as well as inspiration from hearing fantastic first-hand stories from young people whose lives have been turned around by the work of our housing team.

"It promises to be a night people will remember for a long, long time."

For more information or to register visit www.sleep easyexeter.org.uk

Alternatively, call Tom on 01392 410530, email events@exeterymca.org.uk,or text "sleep" to 07535 463178 and he will call you back.

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